Once Upon a Time: 7:15 A.M.

In “7:15 A.M.”, we return to the love story of Snow White and Prince James. Since their chance meeting several weeks ago, they have done nothing but dream of each other. Snow meets up with Red Riding Hood in the forest, hungry for any news of her fair prince. James is unable to focus on his bride-to-be, haunted by memories of his beautiful precocious thief.

All of this navel gazing and moping has not escaped the notice of King George, who lays down the law with his faux son. Whoever this trollop is, get her out of your heart and focus on Abigail … you know … or else!

Both James and Snow know things can’t continue this way. Snow wrangles Rumpelstiltskin’s name from Red Riding Hood and goes to visit him on a foggy river in the dead of night. In exchange for one lock of her hair (what’s up with that?) he gives her a potion that will cure her heartache. Once she drinks it, she won’t remember Prince James or how he made her heart pitter pat. But James has a different plan. He’s willing to risk his neck for the chance to be with his true love. He writes Snow a letter declaring his undying love and implores her to come to him before his wedding if she feels the same way.

I’m a big fan of the Snow/James love story, but I can’t help feeling like a piece of the story is missing. When they last left each other, there were definitely sparks, but I didn’t get the sense that they were hopelessly in love with each other yet. I would have liked a little more lead-up to their romantic devotion.

Snow receives James’ letter on the wings of a dove and rushes off joyfully for a romantic tryst. She manages to sneak into the castle unnoticed, but is intercepted by one of the King’s Guards and thrown into the dungeon. There she meets Grumpy, a dwarf in the same predicament. He scoffs at her ‘love will conquer all’ attitude as she tries to find a way out. He’s been stuck in this dank hole since he was tricked into selling a stolen diamond to the mine foreman. There is no way out. Never say never – at that moment Grumpy’s dwarf friend Stealthy shows up to unlock the cell. Grumpy begrudgingly gets him to release Snow as well. She tries to convince them to go up the stairs and over the wall instead of through the courtyard but they don’t listen. Stealthy ends up dead and Grumpy is surrounded by guards. Snow selflessly offers herself up to the King to spare his life.

Once the King has Snow White alone, he offers her a truly horrible ultimatum. Go to James and tell him she doesn’t love him. Crush his heart or King George will kill him. “You would do that to your own son?” “He’s not my son.” Snow has to lose James to save him. She meets him in his room and he embraces her with an outpouring of emotion. She stops him, tells him that they’ll never be together because she doesn’t love him, and walks away … desperately holding in her sobs. Snow feels completely destroyed, but she won’t be alone. She is taken in by Grumpy and his 6 dwarf friends who promise to take care of her while she nurses her pain.

In Storybrooke, David and Mary Margaret are also having a difficult time keeping their distance. Every morning they both rush to the coffee shop for 7:15, where they ‘accidentally’ cross paths. He grabs a coffee for work while she sits at a table reading a book. They exchange pleasantries and small talk, leaving each other more hopeless and lovelorn than before. Mary Margaret’s pain deepens when she bumps into Katherine in the drug store and knocks a pregnancy test right out of her hand. Oh dear. Regina, who is shopping with her ‘dear friend’, smirks at Mary and asks her to ‘be discreet’.

Mary Margaret goes walking in the woods to clear her head and stumbles upon a Northern Atlantic dove caught in a net. She takes her to the local animal shelter, where David just happens to be working. The dove is uninjured, but if she isn’t returned to her flock she’ll be alone forever. Mary Margaret isn’t going to let an innocent dove feel as lost and lonely as she does, so she rushes out into an impending storm to return the dove to the forest. While out in the woods, she slips and falls over the side of a cliff, grasping desperately on to a hanging tree root. David appears just in time to rescue her and they take refuge in a nearby cabin as the rain starts to pour down. “You really think I’d let you come out here alone?” They both confess their desires and it’s all they can do to keep their lips off each other. But Mary Margaret forces herself to pull back and remind him of his wife’s ‘condition’. David has no idea that his wife could be pregnant! He’s so torn. “It’s like I have two conflicting lives, memories of feelings for her, and real feelings for you.”

The rain stops, Mary Margaret releases the lost dove to her circling flock, and sadly tells David they have no choice but to forget each other. David goes home to his wife, who is not pregnant but wants them to go to therapy. He agrees and tells her he still genuinely wants to makes things work. At 7:10 in the morning, both he and Mary Margaret skip their usual rendezvous at the coffee shop. And yet … their efforts to not see each other are futile. At 7:45 they both show up at the coffee place, thinking they’ve safely avoided a meeting. David tells Mary Margaret that Katherine is not pregnant and they end up in a passionate lip-lock in the middle of the street. Regina watches from her parked car, quietly seething.

David is kind of a douchebag. I want to like him, but he doesn’t seem to have a spine. Every time he makes a ‘decision’ he’s completely swayed the next time a whim strikes him. He decides to leave his wife and meet Mary Margaret and then changes his mind when he remembers his past. He decides to stay with his wife, but then tries to kiss Mary Margaret in the cabin. He returns home to his wife and decides to renew his commitment to her and vows to make it work … and then makes out in public with Mary Margaret. Come on, buddy. Make an actual choice already!!!

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Prince James has decided not to take no for an answer. He cancels his wedding and rides off looking for Snow White. Word reaches Grumpy, who excitedly wakes Snow to tell her the news. All she can say is, “Who?” Rumpelstiltskin’s potion vial lies empty on a nearby table. Oh. No.

There was a really nice scene between Snow and Grumpy earlier in the episode when she first brought out the vial and threatened to drink it. Grumpy told her that he wouldn’t trade his pain even though it hurt like hell because it made him who he is. He convinced Snow to fight through it and only drink the potion as a last resort. Guess the last resort came too soon. She drank it without telling anyone.

Interesting Tidbits

-Snow mentions to Red that “I helped you when no one else would.” What exactly did she do for her? Cut her out of a big bad wolf? 😉 I still find it weird that Little Red Riding Hood is a 20-something year old woman … who looks kinda slutty. It’s disconcerting.

-The C plot in the episode was about the new stranger in town. Regina enlists Emma’s help in investigating him because she’s worried he seems to be taking an interest in Henry … or so she claims. I would LOVE to know what she really thinks about the appearance of an unknown in her cursed town. In fact, I would really love to see things from her perspective more often. The only time we’ve really gotten inside her head was when she crushed Graham’s heart. We see her being bitchy and manipulative all the time, and we know that she has all her memories – but we aren’t really privy to her thought process. After being really, really creepy and mysterious for a while, the Stranger finally tells Emma that he’s in town to write and produces an old typewriter from a beat-up wooden case. Emma accepts a drink invitation in exchange for the information. Seriously, I don’t know what is UP with this dude! I couldn’t tell whether he was genuinely hitting on her or whether he was a sociopath. Either way, I’m still creeped out.

Photo Courtesy of ABC

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